Anyone who left The Garden tonight after the 2nd period missed a helluva hockey game.
The Rangers stormed back from a 4-2 deficit after 40 minutes, scoring four goals in the 3rd period to beat the Vegas Golden Knights, 6-4. Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, Mika Zibanejad, and Michael Grabner tallied the goals in the final period.
The Rangers actually jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the game, on Jimmy Vesey’s 2nd goal of the season, at 2:45. But Vegas got goals from former Ranger Oscar Lindberg and Reilly Smith, both on rebounds, to give Vegas a 2-1 lead after one period.
In the 2nd period, Mats Zuccarello put one past Maxime Lagace at 1:29 to tie the game, 2-2. Lagace was making his 1st career NHL start, and finished the night with 32 saves. Smith scored his 2nd goal of the night at 7:29 to give the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead, and, later in the period, David Perron scored on a penalty shot, at 18:59, to make it 4-2. A smattering of boos were heard at the end of the period, none of them Halloween-related.
But the Blueshirts woke up from their slumber and played with increased urgency in the 3rd period. Finally. After two separate tripping calls were called on Perron at 4:51 the Rangers had a four-minute power play. Kreider scored a power-play goal 40 seconds later, at 5:31, deflecting a perfect pass from Zibanejad past Lagace to cut the Vegas lead to 4-3.
Midway through the period, hustle by the Rangers kept the puck in the Vegas zone. Zibanejad grabbed a loose puck in front of the Vegas net, and passed to Buchnevich, who had a wide-open net and scored to tie the game, 4-4, at 9:26. Buchnevich has scored goals in three straight games.
Zibanejad’s wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle beat Lagace for a power-play goal at 14:11 to give New York a 5-4 lead. Zibanejad had one goal and two assists in the 3rd period, and leads the Rangers with 8 goals on the season.
Grabner’s empty net goal, off a blocked shot by Jesper Fast, gave the Rangers the 6-4 final margin.
Zuccarello and Buchnevich each had a goal and an assist.
Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves for his 408th career win, moving him into 9th place in NHL history.
The Rangers [now 4-7-2, 10 pts] play the Lightning in Tampa Thursday night.